If you are serious about using the most cost-effective, convincing methods to reach your target audience, media coverage should be a part of your marketing mix. It’s a highly efficient way to teach the masses why they should buy your product.
There is a genius marketing strategy that is pretty much guaranteed to leave your competitors in the dust.
Most of us actively block out advertising and sales messages. That’s why we have DVRs, satellite radio and national do-not-call lists. What audiences don’t block out, they ignore. So how do you make certain that consumers listen to your message? Become the content, not the ad!
I believe in boldly asserting goals. You need to name your goals to achieve them. So tell us: How many media stories promoting your product do you want? One a month? One a week? One a day? Next, consider: Are you achieving this publicity goal? If you’re like most businesses, you are probably not getting anywhere near that much coverage. Yet.
Sometimes the key to great publicity is getting your story into the hands of the right journalist. Chances are, there are reporters and producers out there who would love to feature your product in a story they’re working on right now. The hard part is finding out who they are. That’s what my company, Media Relations, Inc., is here for.
If you want something, ask for it. That includes publicity. Most reporters and journalists who are running stories about your industry won’t include your product in their stories simply because they don’t know you want them to. That’s a shame. If you want publicity, tell us and we’ll ask the media for you. Getting more publicity will be well worth the effort it takes to reach out to us.
There are some industries that seem to favor “newly-minted experts”. But publicity is not one of them. Arranging publicity takes years of experience. It takes a network of media contacts. It takes strategy expertise that only comes with time. When you want publicity, there’s no substitute for an industry veteran such as Heather Champine.
Allow me one moment of psychic power. I can guess the biggest marketing mistake you’re making: not using publicity to promote your product.
It’s common sense. Media coverage is great for business. Yet almost all companies pour resources into four of the five promotional channels ‒ websites, social media, advertising and personal selling ‒ but they don’t harness the most powerful: publicity. Nothing will trigger sales more than media coverage, and there are some simple reasons for that. News stories are more credible than advertisements. News stories reach the masses. People love news stories and pay attention to them.
When your business or product is featured on the news, be prepared for it to receive an onslaught of attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up in a few selfies. Publicity’s marketing power is astounding. Yet most businesses don’t take advantage of publicity to promote their products. Why? Because PR firms charge an hourly rate for their services, without any guarantee of arranging media coverage. And that understandably dissuades most potential clients from using publicity as a promotional channel. That pricing model is not how we do business. We offer publicity priced by the story.
Taken to extreme, your strengths can also be weaknesses. One of our business model’s greatest advantages is that there is not much direct competition for what we do: We sell product publicity. But this uniqueness can also be a challenge to overcome: It can be difficult to convince marketers to try something out of the ordinary. Couple that with the PR industry’s traditional hourly billing model, which is about as senseless as selling pizza by the hour, and many marketers are initially a little skeptical.
It may seem tempting to complain about the media, but journalists can communicate your product’s value with clarity and credibility. Over nearly three decades, our publicists have set up tens of thousands of stories with reporters and producers. Several times a day, at outlets throughout the U.S. and Canada, these media professionals are doing a wonderful job crafting stories that explain our clients’ products to target audiences. The media know how to tell a good story. They may be able to explain your product better than you can.